A Parent’s Guide to Setting a Successful Budget for a College Student

The post A Parent’s Guide to Setting a Successful Budget for a College Student appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom.

 You are getting ready to send your child off to college. Before you start helping them pack their belongings, there is one thing you need to do.

You need to help them create a budget. You need to teach them how to manage their money so they can learn the tools they’ll use long after they graduate.

WHY DO COLLEGE STUDENTS NEED A BUDGET?

The truth is everyone needs a budget. It does not matter your age. If you are dealing with money, a budget is necessary.

  1. Allows you to control your money. Rather than your money telling you what it wants to do, you get to tell your money where it needs to go. You are always in control when you have a budget.
  2. It teaches financial skills. A budget helps ensure that expenses such as rent, tuition, food, insurance, transportation, and housing are paid – before spending money on the fun stuff. (It also helps to make sure you don’t spend more than you make.)
  3. Makes you aware of where your money goes. When you use a budget, you see how you spend. It is very simple to see if too much is going toward dining out when you should be building your savings.
  4. Helps you track your goals. You need to cover expenses but you should also work on building savings at the same time. Your budget allows you to not only see those goals but track them in real time.

DOESN’T A BUDGET MEAN YOU CAN’T HAVE FUN?

Not at all! If anything, your budget will allow you to have guilt-free fun.

For example, the budget may allow you to spend $50 a week dining out. That means you can go to dinner with friends once (possibly twice) a week and enjoy yourself. You won’t be left wondering how you are now going to make rent.

WHAT TYPE OF BUDGET SHOULD YOUR STUDENT USE?

There are various methods of budgeting such as the 50/30/20 and the zero-based budget. For most college students, the zero-based is the simplest and easiest to follow.

The reason is that you track everything. You give every penny a job. That means if you earn $1,500 for the month that you “spend” the entire $1,500.

You will first cover the needs (food, shelter, transportation) and then your wants. If there is money “leftover” after this is done, it can be added to your savings.

You can use other types but if you have never budgeted before, using this method is the simplest.

WHAT SHOULD A COLLEGE STUDENT INCLUDE IN A BUDGET?

The budget will vary for each person, as the income and expense will be different. However, these are the most common categories that need to be included in a budget:

  • Rent
  • Renter’s insurance
  • Car payment
  • Car insurance (also saving for annual renewal fees)
  • Food
  • Clothes
  • Utilities (phone, electricity, gas, water, etc.)
  • Tuition
  • Fees
  • Entertainment (movies, games, concerts)
  • Dining out
  • Emergency fund savings

Again, you may have items that are not included above or see some that you do not need.

However, the most important thing of all is that every penny is given a job. Account for everything you will spend each month so you never have too much month and not enough money.

HOW DO YOU KEEP TRACK OF YOUR BUDGET?

For most college students, apps or digital trackers are the best options.  But, before you rush and sign up, keep the following in mind.

  1. Cost. Many apps are free and they will work perfectly fine. Other apps have a monthly fee attached to them. If you plan to use one of them, make sure you include that as one of your regular expenses. However, do not let the cost alone be a single factor when it comes to clicking the sign-up button.
  2. Security. Your security trumps all else. You need to make sure the app uses encryption as well as two-factor authorization.

Some of the best apps include:

  • Mint
  • You Need a Budget (YNAB)
  • PocketGuard
  • Mvelopes

However, your student may also like the traditional paper and pencil method – and that is OK as well.

Find the right one that works best for your student. That is all that matters.

TEACHING THEM TO BUDGET

Knowing you need a budget and where to track it is just the beginning. You need to teach your child how to budget.

Start by looking at each category that they need on their budget. You may already know the cost for each category but if not, you may need to make phone calls or do research to know.

For example, you know the rent for the apartment is $850 a month but how much are the average utilities? Ask the manager for these costs so you can include them in the budget.

Next, decide how much they want to allow themselves to spend on food. Show them how much a meal costs for a single person at each restaurant you eat at so they can create an average.

You will then have them decide how much “fun money” they want to include as well. You can base this on them wanting to go to the movies two times a month, one concert a month, or attending three events.

Now you can see the expenses for your student. Add their income to the budget and deduct the expenses. They will see if they are operating in the black (money left over) or in the red (spending more than they make).

Show them how to adjust the numbers by increasing their savings or lowering the amount they can spend on clothes – until the budget equals zero. Zero meaning they are spending every penny they earn.

And making them keep track now will help ensure they stay on track well into the future.

 

 

 

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Source: pennypinchinmom.com

Stop Comparing Yourself To Others And Live Your Own Life

Do you find yourself comparing yourself to others often? Here are reasons you should stop comparing yourself to others and start living your own life.I think we can probably all agree that your life might be different if you decided to stop comparing yourself to others.

Over the years, I’ve compared myself to others plenty of times. I’ve compared myself to others when it came to school, looks, money, and more. I know that sounds bad, but without acknowledging that, it would be hard to stop.

Many people compare themselves to others too.

In fact, everyone has done it at one point in their life.

People often compare themselves to others to determine how well they are doing in life and base their personal value on that. However, that usually doesn’t lead to feeling too good about yourself. Plus, who actually wants to judge themselves in a negative way?

While in some circumstances it can be motivating and inspiring to compare yourself to others, but in most circumstances it is negative and can lead to:

  • Debt, such as when you’re trying to keep up with the Joneses and buy the same expensive things that other people are buying.
  • A feeling of defeat, like when you feel that you aren’t as good as someone else.
  • Unhappiness, in that the process of comparing yourself to others is neverending.
  • A waste of time. If you spend all of your time comparing yourself to others, you will never have enough time to do what you really want. Comparing yourself to others can take valuable time and moments away.

To put it simply, by comparing yourself to others, you are holding yourself back.

Now, I know that just telling you to stop comparing yourself to others is easier said than done. In today’s world, with social media and how everything seems to be on full display for the world, it can be easy to compare yourself to others.

But, you need to stop doing it in a negative way.

By doing so, you’ll be able to move on with your life, reach your goals, be happy for others, and more.

Sure, you may not be able to reach a goal as quickly as someone else or it may require more hard work, but that doesn’t mean that everything is impossible for you. Everyone is on a different path, and there are people who are better or worse off than you.

Instead of comparing your path to those around you, you should focus on what you can do to make your dream a reality.

Here is how you can stop comparing yourself to others.

 

Understand why comparing yourself to others can hold you back.

The first step to stop comparing yourself to others is to realize that comparisons are often negative and that most of the time they do not help.

You should think about why you feel the need to compare yourself to others, and think of how that may be impacting you. By realizing these things, you’ll be able to move forward and stop wasting your time with comparisons.

As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

If you want to learn how to feel better about yourself, this is so important!

 

Be happy for others.

Instead of feeling jealous or like it’s a competition between you and whoever you are comparing yourself to, you should just be happy for the success of others.

Good things can happen to other people, it doesn’t mean that your life is any less important. Plus, by being happy for others, you’ll learn to accept yourself and let more positivity into your life.

 

Be motivated, not competitive.

Instead of feeling jealous or competitive when comparing yourself to someone else, you should instead turn that emotion into inspiration and/or motivation.

The next time you find yourself comparing yourself to someone, you could think about how you could possibly do something similar (only if that’s what you truly want to do, of course). You can use their achievements as inspiration for your own life and goals.

As you can see, comparing yourself to someone else doesn’t have to be entirely bad, as long as you use that process for positives means.

 

Take a break from social media.

Social media can be fun and all, but for the most part, you are just seeing carefully selected pieces of someone’s life.

While that can be great, some people allow it to drag them down.

If you find yourself feeling jealous or negative when you are on social media, then you may want to take a break from it until you figure out how to turn that self-doubt into inspiration. This way, you can stop comparing yourself to others.

 

Be confident.

You may find yourself comparing yourself to others because you lack self confidence.

Some believe that confidence is something people are born with and that a person cannot learn how to be confident.

I used to feel the same way. While I’m not as confident as I would like to be, I am a fairly confident person and I believe that has helped me a lot in life. That sounds odd to say, but I am confident enough to say it!

I believe that gaining confidence can help you as well. Learning how to be confident can lead to getting the job you want, making more money, reaching your dreams, public speaking, meeting new people, networking, managing a business or employees, traveling the world, and more.

As you can see, gaining confidence can help a person in many, many different ways.

Plus, by being confident with yourself, you will learn how to stop comparing yourself to others because you’ll already believe in yourself.

Learn more at Be More Confident And Get What You Want In Life.

 

Take control of your finances.

Money is a leading cause of comparison.

Often, you may feel stuck with your current life because of some sort of financial reason. This happens to all of us.

And, this may lead to comparing yourself to others.

By paying off your debt, making more money, not living paycheck to paycheck, budgeting better, and more, you may feel free to reach for your dream life because you won’t feel controlled by your finances.

Related article:

  • 10 Great Ways To Gain Control Of Your Finances and Reach Financial Freedom
  • Are You Making Your Life Difficult? 18 Ideas To Simplify Your Life
  • How To Reach Your Goals

 

Be positive and happy with who you are.

Many people find themselves comparing themselves to others because they feel unlucky or sad about their situation.

Everyone has something that might make them sad, angry, scared, etc., and I understand that in some circumstances it can be quite difficult to see the positive or to be happy for yourself.

However, no matter how life may be going for you, I believe that a positive outlook can help to improve your life. It’s all about being grateful for what you already have.

Being negative causes limitations. If you think you cannot do something, then you most likely will not. Negative thoughts can make you feel stuck, they can make you feel like there is no way out of your problems, and that you have zero options.

On the other hand, being positive can help you realize that you are able to do things, that you are in control of your life, and that little things will not kill you. Being positive will also help you move on and deal with stressful situations better.

 

There is no such thing as the perfect life.

No one is perfect.

Once you realize that, you’ll find that comparing yourself to others is wasted time because everyone has a different path, including you.

Instead, you should accept your past and present, and realize that you can make changes for the future if you desire to do so.

Remember, you should never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. You don’t know what they’ve been through, and instead you should be happy for other people’s accomplishments.

 

Think about your dream life.

To stop comparing yourself to others, you may want to think about your dream life. This may help you realize that everyone’s on a different path, and that you should be creating your own path to reach happiness and success.

You should think about different things such as:

  • What does it take to reach your dream life? Do you need to go to school? Pay off debt? Learn something new?
  • What will your action plan be?
  • Why is what you’re currently doing no longer working for you?
  • What excuses are you currently making?
  • What are the risks? What will you have to overcome to reach your dream life?
  • What are the positives of reaching your dream life? What is success to you?

Remember, don’t compare yourself with others!

How could you stop comparing yourself to others? How has it impacted your life?

The post Stop Comparing Yourself To Others And Live Your Own Life appeared first on Making Sense Of Cents.

Source: makingsenseofcents.com

How to Travel Like a Minimalist and Save Money – MintLife Blog

If you want to travel more, it doesn’t have to be more expensive. There are many ways to travel like a minimalist— travel lighter while saving money for future traveling. Here are my six recommendation for traveling like a minimalist…. Full Story

Source: mint.intuit.com

Is a Sam’s Club Membership Worth It Just for Gas?

The post Is a Sam’s Club Membership Worth It Just for Gas? appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom.

From chicken drumsticks to paper towels or even a trampoline, you can find just about anything at warehouse clubs like Sam’s. But what if you don’t have any use for a 10-lb bag of sugar or 32 rolls of paper towels?

If you drive a lot, a Sam’s Club membership may make sense just based on the gas savings alone. Let’s look at some numbers.

How Much Does a Sam’s Club Membership Save on Gas?

A basic Sam’s Club membership costs $45 per year and gives you access to the gas stations at all warehouse club locations. However, Sam’s Club has been running promotions to entice people to join so you may pay less than the membership sticker price. (And check to see if Groupon has a deal on membership as it often does.)

Depending on the membership savings you score, the following math may work even better for your situation.

To run this test, let’s assume that you drive a Toyota Camry and you fill-up the 14-gallon tank with gas once a week. This means you go through 728 gallons of gas a year. We will assume that Sam’s Club gas costs on average $0.10 less than other gas stations.

This means you will save around $73 per year if you fill up your car only at Sam’s Club gas stations. If you also get the Sam’s Club Mastercard, you will get an additional 5% back on gas purchases on the first $6,000 per year then 1% after.

For this calculation, we will assume that gas costs $2 a gallon. If you go through 728 gallons per year and you fill up on gas at Sam’s Club using their credit card to pay, you will save $145.60. Subtracting the cost of the membership ($45) gives you savings of $100.

If you don’t get the Sam’s Club Mastercard, your savings come out to a more modest $28 per year.

The difference between the price of gas at my local gas station and at the nearest Sam’s Club is even bigger in my neighborhood. My local gas station is charging $2.05 for a gallon of regular gas while the Sam’s Club gas station sells the same gallon for $1.89.

Here’s a screenshot from the GasBuddy app showing the most recent prices for both:

That’s a difference of $0.16, which would increase the savings. However, the nearest Sam’s Club gas station is almost three miles away, which would eat into my savings and make it more inconvenient. (You can mitigate that by getting gas when you actually shop at Sam’s, which should save you money compared to a regular grocery store.)

Does it Make Sense to Get a Sam’s Club Membership for Gas?

If you drive a big car such as a truck or an SUV, the $0.10 – $0.15 per gallon you can save with a Sam’s Club membership can make a difference. This is also the case if you drive a long way for work, so you need to fill up more often.

One thing to consider is the location of the nearest Sam’s Club gas station. If you have one on your way to work or close to your house, getting a membership to save on gas could make sense.

However, if you have to drive several miles each time to fill up on gas, this will cut into your savings. The inconvenience factor will also make it less likely that you will use the Sam’s Club gas stations.

Warehouse clubs can also be a great place to get deals on other items for your household. If you have a family, you can easily save more than the annual membership cost on staple foods and household goods.

Do you have a Sam’s Club membership? Have you found it worth it just on the gas savings alone? Share your experience in the comments. 

–Veneta Lusk

The post Is a Sam’s Club Membership Worth It Just for Gas? appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom.

Source: pennypinchinmom.com

How to Get Rid of Sentimental Clutter and Spend More Intentionally (+ Free Printables)

It’s easy to get rid of old magazines and clothes that no longer fit, but throwing out vacation souvenirs or old photographs can be difficult. Sentimental clutter refers to items with special meaning or memories you have an emotional attachment to, but take up space in your home. This could be a birthday card that your Grandpa sent you or a stuffed bear your kids won at the state fair. Even though these items hold a special place in your heart, they may not be serving you anymore. Instead, they’re cluttering your home, life, and budget.

Sixty-six percent of Americans think an unorganized home makes them stressed or anxious. However, 61 percent of us have a hard time parting with sentimental items. Letting go of material items you don’t use can help you reduce stress and financial burdens. From canceling subscriptions you never use to repurposing items, you could cut down on waste and save or make some extra cash. Below, we’ll walk through how to get rid of sentimental clutter and how to be intentional with the items your family keeps.

1. Create a Realistic Decluttering Schedule

Decluttering and cleaning your space can feel like a full-time job if you don’t plan accordingly. Decide whether you’re going to knock your decluttering out over a series of days or weeks. If you have a shorter timeline, consider taking a day off of work so you can focus your energy on organizing. Remember to reward yourself with a relaxing spa night at home once you’ve saved some extra pennies from selling or donating unwanted items.

2. Recruit a Loved One Over Hiring a Professional

Spark a little competition while decluttering with your loved ones instead of spending money on a professional organizer. You could each learn how to say no to things you don’t need by gamifying your cleaning schedule. Print out our 30-day decluttering challenge and split the tasks up for each person to tackle. See who can finish their list the fastest to win an ice cream treat.

3. Start With Your Bathroom

It may be overwhelming when figuring out which room to tackle first. Start with the smallest room — typically the bathroom — and work your way to the largest space. Once you’ve gotten the hang of saying goodbye to small sentimental clutter, you’ll be ready to sell bigger items like your dad’s old recliner.

Start With Your Bathroom

Start With Your Bathroom

4. Separate What’s Meaningful and What Takes Up Space

You may hit some roadblocks when deciding if you should keep or ditch a sentimental item. When you do, think about the last time you used it and if it still serves a purpose in your life today. Go through our four questions to help your family decide if you should keep or ditch items throughout your home.

  • Do you still like the item?
  • Do you use the item on a regular basis?
  • Does it serve a purpose in your life today?
  • Do you have more than one of the same or similar items?

5. Sell Collectables to a New Home

Remember that items you’re getting rid of could be valuable to others. For instance, your grandpa’s old recliner may not be useful for your family, but it could be a college student’s new prized possession. If you don’t know if something is valuable, look it up online or get it appraised at an antique shop. Then, consider hosting a garage sale for collectables. You can also list these items for sale on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or your social media accounts to earn some extra cash.

6. Say Goodbye to Sentimental Guilt

The way your family treats items says a lot about whether you should keep them or not. You may have your first pair of baby shoes stored in your attic that you can’t fathom getting rid of, but you shouldn’t be hard on yourself if you decide you need to move them along. A good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t touched an item in over a year, it may be time to say goodbye. Shed light on this process by downloading our printable and highlighting what you’re grateful for getting rid of.

Say Goodbye to Sentimental Guilt

Say Goodbye to Sentimental Guilt

7. Revisit and Reorganize Every Year

Every spring, take time to declutter your home, office, life, and budget again. Make this a family activity and offer an outdoor adventure as a reward for doing a good job. Divide up the space and as you each clean your designated areas, celebrate small victories by taking a 10-minute dance break every hour. This can turn cleaning into a fun family bonding activity.

8. Repurpose, Reuse, Recycle, and Spend Less

Sorting through your valuables may resurface items you forgot about. You may want to repurpose some things or gift them to a family member rather than getting rid of them or purchasing something new. For example, your old-fashioned record player could be your kids’ new favorite birthday gift. Save money on gifts, wasteful items, and duplicated purchases you don’t need.

If you do decide to get rid of an item, see if you can recycle or donate it rather than trashing it. Download our sort the waste game to see which items should be recycled in which bin. While sorting your waste, there are a few items that are harmful to throw away. Research responsible e-waste facilities that’ll pay for recycled electronics listed below:

  • Flatscreen TVs
  • Smartphones
  • Electronics containing heavy metals, lead, and cadmium
  • Mercury thermometers
  • Fluorescent light bulbs
  • Smoke detectors

Repurpose, Reuse, Recycle, and Spend Less

Repurpose, Reuse, Recycle, and Spend Less

How to Spend More Intentionally and Minimize Clutter

Sorting through your home may put your spending habits into perspective. You may notice the abundance of things that don’t serve a purpose in your lifestyle. Think about a closet full of clothes you only wore once or subscriptions you don’t remember having. Exercising mindful spending will help save time, money, and energy, and can be adopted with these tips.

Audit Your Subscription Services

Sixty-five percent of American’s have no idea how much they spend each month. Check your monthly card statement to spot any subscriptions that you could cut out. These repetitive subscriptions could be apps on your phone or account service fees like Amazon Prime. Audit your statements using our app every three months to avoid wasting money under your radar.

Avoid Bringing Home Bargain Clutter

You may have heard the phrase “well it was on sale”! Just because an item is discounted doesn’t mean you need it in your life. Eight out of 10 people admit to wasting money on things they don’t need. Exercise mindful spending and download our app to track where your family’s money goes on a daily basis.

Only Spend When You Receive

It’s easy to overspend when your family’s not paying attention to how much money is going out versus coming in. To keep your budget on track, pay your bills in full once a month and create weekly spending limits. Download our budgeting app and break down your budget by week to ensure you and your family stick to it.

While decluttering can calm your mind, it can also boost your family’s creativity. To break out of a funk or get your creative juices flowing, start re-evaluating what you do and don’t need in your life. Even though some goodbyes may pull on your family’s heartstrings, they could earn you some extra cash. Cut down on unnecessary spending and sell valuable items to help clear up your space. Practice minimalism to own less, spend less, and increase your savings or investments.

Sources: Happify | Bob Villa

The post How to Get Rid of Sentimental Clutter and Spend More Intentionally (+ Free Printables) appeared first on MintLife Blog.

Source: mint.intuit.com

The Less You Own, The Less That Owns You

The less you own, the less that owns you. Minimalist living has changed my life for the better. If you are interested in having a minimalist house and life, then you must read this!I haven’t always been a minimalist, nor have I always been interested in minimalist living. I used to purchase crazy amounts of clothing, random items for my home, wasn’t interested in becoming a minimalist, and so on.

I hoarded lots of items, hoping that one day I would find a use for them. I often thought that I needed things, so I would purchase crazy amounts of them even though I should have put my money to better use.

Then, around two years ago, I realized that I had too much stuff and that I had an unhealthy relationship with material things.

Over the past two years, I have donated or given away the majority of my belongings. I now pretty much only have the things I need to get me through the day or week ahead. There is no extra, and before I purchase anything, I always think about what use I’ll get out of it.

After all, I travel full-time and there’s only so much I can carry. Plus, getting rid of the majority of my belongings has been hard, stressful, and tiring, and I definitely don’t want to experience that ever again!

I know that not everyone wants to be a minimalist. And, I’m not pushing it on anyone. I know that buying stuff isn’t all bad, and there are many material things that make life easier and better.

Instead, I want to introduce people to the idea of minimalist living, especially since the average person has lots of extra stuff in their lives that they don’t need. This can lead to debt, buying things just to impress others, wasting time, and so on.

Plus, being a minimalist has changed my life for the better, and I believe that it can help others as well.

I used to spend a lot of time thinking the things I bought and spending all of my money on new things, but I am far from that now.

It’s easy to get lost in the idea of spending money on things to fill your life, and the average home size has changed to make it only easier to feel like you have to buy more than you need. Consider this, the average home size in 1950 was less than 1,000 square feet. Fast forward to 2013, the average home size has increased to nearly 2,600 square feet, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Clearly, we used to make due with less, and there are still many reasons for minimalist living:

  • Minimalist living can help you save more money. Minimalist living most likely means that you’ll be buying less stuff. Instead, you’ll only buy what you want and what you truly need.
  • Minimalist living means less clutter. Clutter can take over a person’s life. You may feel stressed out, tired, like your things are taking over your life, and more.
  • Minimalist living can give you more time. By living with less stuff, you can spend less time on cleaning, maintenance, and repairs. The more things you have, the more things that you’ll need to clean, maintain, and repair. Just think about what you could do with all of that extra time!

Here is how minimalist living has changed my life:

 

Clothing doesn’t define me.

By being a minimalist, I’ve definitely realized that I don’t need much in order to be happy. Before, I thought that I needed all the clothing in the world in order to be happy, but now I know that I really don’t need much.

In fact, I hardly ever purchase clothing, and I’ve been wearing nearly the same things for several years.

For me, it’s all about buying things that are more “classic,” won’t go out of style, things that I actually like instead of what’s trendy for that month, and so on.

It feels great when you realize that you don’t need all of that extra stuff in your life.

Instead, purchase what you want and need, rather than thinking about keeping up with others all the time or thinking that emotional spending is something that will help you.

 

Minimalist living gives me more time.

Minimalist living allows me to have more time to spend on other things.

Just think about it: The more things you have, then the more time you have to spend on using it, maintaining it, repairing it, cleaning it, and so on.

I would much rather live with less than think about all of the things that I own that need work done to them!

Related blog posts about minimalist living:

  • What I Learned By Donating And Giving Away Nearly All Of My Stuff
  • Downsizing Your Home? Here’s How I Went From A 2,000 Square Foot House To An RV
  • Minimalism 101: One Thing a Day
  • Maintaining a Minimalist Wardrobe
  • How I Live in a 400 Sq. Ft. House – My Minimalist Home
  • How I Live On A Sailboat
  • Why Paying For A Storage Unit Is A Waste of Money

 

With minimalist living, I’ve realized that I don’t need much.

Before I was a minimalist, I kept a lot of things because I thought I needed them for the future. On a regular basis, I probably only used around 25% of the things I had in my house.

In reality, it was probably even less than the 25% figure that I just said above.

I know I’m not alone, and many people keep items because they think they might need them in the future. You know the feeling– you buy something, don’t use it right away, and years later you find it but just can’t throw it away in case there is some circumstance where you need that exact item.

If this is you, then you should put a timeline of no more than one year on the item. If you don’t use it in that timeframe, then there’s a big chance that you’ll never need it or will even miss it that much.

Instead of buying items that you rarely use, you may want to think about renting or borrowing them from someone else.

When I think about how much stuff we gave away, I honestly can’t even remember half of the things. I realize now how little we really needed, and those things definitely did not make me happy if I can’t even remember them!

 

I save more money by living with less stuff.

Now that we live with less stuff, we are able to save a great deal of money. Instead of thinking that we need everything that exists, we are now much more realistic about our needs and realize that there’s a lot of clutter in the stores that no one really needs at all.

Plus, now that I realize how much money I’ve wasted over the years, I am able to say “no” at the store when debating about whether or not I should purchase a certain item, especially one that might create clutter.

I can also walk into a store and only buy exactly what I need, even if that store is Target!

I have so much more control over my spending and that has saved me a lot of money.

Related:

  • 30+ Ways To Save Money Each Month
  • How To Save Money – My Best Money Saving Tips
  • 8 Things To Sell To Make Money
  • Are You Making Your Life Difficult? 18 Ideas To Simplify Your Life
  • How To Reach Your 2018 Goals

 

I understand now that I don’t need things to make me happy.

Having more things doesn’t make you a happier person. Things don’t make you a better person, they don’t make you more successful than others, or anything else.

In fact, in many circumstances it’s far from that.

I know this because I have less stuff than I have ever had, and I am happier than ever.

Plus, when was the last time you heard someone say “I’m so glad I bought all those pairs of pants 35 years ago!” or “I’m so glad I had all of those things decades ago!”

You should only own something if you truly want or need it. Who cares about what everyone else has!

 

A minimalist house allows me to travel.

Unless I maintain my minimalist lifestyle and house (well, RV), then I wouldn’t be able to travel full-time. It would be quite hard and not nearly as enjoyable if I had a bunch of things holding me back.

I really, really love and enjoy being able to travel full-time, and it is one of the best benefits of living minimally.

Do you think minimalist living could change your life? Why or why not?

 

The post The Less You Own, The Less That Owns You appeared first on Making Sense Of Cents.

Source: makingsenseofcents.com

Why It Pays to Be Single (Infographic)

It can be hard being single, especially when Valentine’s Day rolls around, and you see others celebrating their relationships. It’s equally difficult when TV shows and movies portray relationships as the gold standard that everyone should strive for. 

The truth is that being a party of one comes with plenty of benefits. You have more time to figure out who you are and who you want to be. Spontaneity comes easily because you don’t have to consider what your partner wants. You may even pick up an interesting new hobby. 

One of the best benefits of being single is the opportunity to whip your finances into shape and save a ton of money! For example, consider your monthly grocery budget. The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that the monthly cost of groceries for women under 50 is about $256. For men under 50, it’s about $302. Meanwhile, the monthly grocery cost for families of two is about $613. 

Let’s do some quick math. That means each partner winds up paying about $307 per month. That’s $51 more than a single woman would pay for groceries each month and $5 more per month for men. (That’s not to mention that, if you’re single, you’ll likely spend a lot less on going out for food!) 

Additionally, if you’re not in a relationship, you can live simply, take up a side hustle, and even qualify for more financial aid than you would if you had a partner.  

Explore the infographic to learn exactly how much you can save by being single and what steps you should take to set yourself up for future success.

14-surprising-benefits-of-being-single

Sources: CNN Money | USDA | Elite Singles | National Retail Federation | Huffington Post | Forbes | National Center for Education Statistics | RENTCafe | The Balance | Social Security Administration | Psychology Today | Daily Mail | American Psychological Association | BBC | Science Alert 

The post Why It Pays to Be Single (Infographic) appeared first on MintLife Blog.

Source: mint.intuit.com